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Will proposed national water policy statement be adopted?

June 18, 2010

It will be interesting to see what Environment Minister Nick Smith does with the draft policy statement on freshwater management. The topic has been discussed in the news over the last few days and when I heard about it on National Radio on Wednesday it sounds like he is keen to push ahead with much of what has been proposed to enforce better water quality. It would include making regional councils limit consents on water allocation and require plans to clean up dirty rivers.

Green groups are urging him to go ahead with the policy, which was proposed by a board of inquiry almost two years ago. But Federated Farmers will be lobbying strongly and have likened itsome of the changes to a moratorium on the dairy industry and further development.

I also just came across Green leader Russel Norman and his kayaking trips since summer down some of New Zealand’s most notorious dirty rivers. In Southland he kayaked down the Mataura River and wrote about Gypsy day and the change in communities with dairy intensification.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 18, 2010 10:41 am

    Are you refering to Green Co-leader Russel Norman here Juliet?
    His kayak trip down the Mataura was very poorly reported by the journalist from the Southland Times, who misrepresented the whole event, pruning his report so heavily that it said nothing at all useful. The Southland Express writer, otoh, did a very fair job in his coverage.
    I’ve a close interest in the Water Conservation Order that exists for the Mataura and am concerned that it is being weakened to accomodate new industry, fossil fuel and dairy, developing in the area.
    What do you think?

    • June 20, 2010 1:17 am

      Opps, yes, I was, left his name out by mistake. I was wondering why I missed his kayak visit when he was here -maybe because there wasn’t much on it in the papers.
      I know there is a water conservation order on the Mataura but don’t know much about it. How do you think it is being weakened? I unfortunately don’t get to any council meetings. I’ll put taking a look at water conservation orders on my list of blog posts to do.

  2. June 22, 2010 1:40 am

    Stewart Collie has indicated that the Mataura Water Conservation Order is , “20 years old and does not fully protect the values that it eas established to safeguard while it unnecessarily constrains the use of water at higher flows.” It will be useful to review it so both the river and the economy benefit”.
    Take that as you will, but in light of the proposed lignite-to-whatever plans for the area along with the Governments behaviour in Canterbury, I’m certainly concerned that any changes made will certainly benefit the economy (short-term) but I have grave doubts that the environment will be well served. More likely get a serve.

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